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i guess i am more at the AP end of the spectrum, and at the moment (6 months), i definitely agree there are different cries, and not all are pain, hunger etc - but i feel at 6 months a cry for comfort is OK too, to me that is still a 'need' rather than 'i'm doing this for the fun of it'. i'm not ready to leave her to cry yet either. i'd second the others, go with what you feel comfortable with. each sleep approach has various pros and cons, and different babies respond in different ways.

oops, just read you asked for experienced mums - that is so not me laugh.gif
oh BECK- you've been at this 6 months! THAT IS EXPERIENCED!!!!

Speaking of "type" of moms, I just read this on the Washington Post onparenting blog (which I read almost daily and sometimes even agree with!)

What Type of Mom are You?

I find myself somewhere between slacker mom (I AM wearing a hoodie right now!) and a traditionalist who hopes to be not a helicopter mom when my girls are older.
great article! it would appear that i'm a slacker with crunchy tendencies. Aiming for a free range future! least likely to become: soccer mom (in fact, the phrase was unheard over here until sarah palin...)

hey, we just started baby-led weaning a week ago. it's really cool, you skip the mush stage and go straight to finger foods. it provides hilarious photo opportunities too laugh.gif . must post a pic...
at this point in time, when emmet cries, he only gets himself ramped up and cries more. then, it takes him even longer to put to sleep. he is a very cozy, cuddly boy, and gains confidence and happiness in having mommy at his disposal. at this point, five months old, i still honestly believe that when he wakes up at night (just to nurse) or is having trouble settling, he does need me. we have a night time ritual (pajamas, two stories, nurse in rocker with lights off, turn on lullabies, sway and rock for two songs, then down to sleep), and i've also started to put him to bed with a lovey. i think we are doing the right thing for us.

beck, you are so experienced. your baby is older than mine!

emmet is starting to eat food. he eats rice cereal mixed with breast milk and stage one vegetables! he is also interested in a toy for the first time- a little mouse wearing a white lab coat. the mouse has a squeak ear, a crinkle ear and other little gadgets to entertain baby. he no longer hates the bath tub or the car, and will ride in the stroller happily!
Ok, so this article is probably going to incite something here, but I'm posting it anyway. I'm an instigator. smile.gif

The Case Against Breastfeeding.
hmm, interesting...

i guess it just shows that if a person's parenting decisions are based solely on what someone else told them to do, that they won't have all that much fun parenting wink.gif

personally i like bfeeding, it's cuddly, intimate, practical, and i can do it without getting out of bed. babies need feeding either way and for me it's much less hassle to pop out a boob (incidentally, not 'exposing myself'- people have requested cuddles before, not realising i'm feeding) than to mess around with bottles. i also think you can be equal parents without doing the exact same tasks.

i don't really get the author's implication that bfeeding is responsible for women not reaching the top of their professions either. there is far greater parity between the sexes in scandinavian countries, where incidentally, bfeeding up to and way beyond the 1st year is far more common and socially acceptable.

seems the problem is more that the US is not a country that values or supports parents of either gender despite the unbelievable fetishising of parenthood when it comes to marketing pointless plastic crap or giant polluting cars.

but honestly, 'an instrument of misery that keeps women down'?? blink.gif
So, i think the point isn't that breastfeeding ITSELF is the instrument that keeps women (and, let us be reminded, that its us, upper middle class white ladies) down, but the popular mythos surrounding it. all those things you mentioned, beck- the intimacy, cuddles, defining ourselves as parents, etc., i think from my own experience, are necessary components of early parenting, regardless of what chemical makeup the food itself has.

After i posted the article, i looked at the video podcast (embedded in it), and found the discussion illuminating. One woman, who had to pump exclusivly (like i thought i'd do this time around), had exactly the same experience i did...sittin g cuddling and gazing and cooing, and having to put then baby down for 20 min to pump to feed...when it could have been 30 seconds (which is about how long it takes me to make a bottle). She made it 2 months, and had a ton of (in her thoughts) condescending "well, at least he got something good" if formula babies are being poisoned by the MAN. I felt many of the same responses from "around" the 'hood.

I'd recommend the video, too.

I tend to resent the "only I can do X, which makes me the MOM" thing that breastfeeding mothers seem to throw out into the discussion. Is the implication that only moms breastfeed (wet nurses??) or that only breastfeeding makes one a mom? i throw that out for discussion. I think its the ego of the maternal parent that comes into play there, not necessairly the health or well-being of the child. What about the whole 'breast is best" campaign pushes at our need to be the suburban/urbane mom of the year? It is THAT, beck, that is our Hoover. The campaign, not the milk.
seems to me it's not the breastfeeding that is the problem, it's the paraphernalia surrounding it that have become necessary because of maternity leave policies in the States. Pumps, bottles etc all would make bfeeding FAR more hassle than formula feeding, I'm sure. but if you have decent, transferable parental leave, mum can stay with kiddo and breastfeed without needing to pump, or dad can stay home and formula feed, or any combo of the two (tho i appreciate you get into the pumping thing again there).

Breastfeeding IS tough the first weeks, what makes up for that is the supreme easy-ness of it after that point, but by that point a lot of people are looking at returning to work, so never reap the benefits as they are into pumping, freezing, bottles, blah blah blah. i truly admire all the people who choose to continue to breastfeed despite all that kerfuffle, not because i think you're a bad parent if you don't, but because they are doing what they feel is right for their babies.

also, i don't bf because of any studies about outcomes, which as the article points out are unavoidably influenced by other parental factors, i think my kid will turn out just fine whatever, but i do prefer her having breastmilk as i believe that while cows milk based formula is a perfectly adequate substitute for breastmilk, the composition of breastmilk is designed especially for babies. i don't think it's a big deal, but i prefer to eat whole foods and avoid processed things myself, same for her.

not seen the 'breast is best' campaign but if i was in US govt working in health policy i would be clutching at any straws that might help improve the abominable health of the nation, even if it risked offending people. same here in the UK. even a negligible benefit is significant on a population scale.
Well, I think pumping has its usefulness outside of working mom's, too. My SIL, who had a solid 4 months off (she's in school- took a semester off), was pumping about 10 days after my neice was born, b/c she wanted to go to a movie and grandma wanted to babysit. It wasn't anything stressful, but by the time she went back to school this month, she had a good amount saved up, and won't need formula for at least a couple months, if at all. And, she and my brother get to go out w/o baby or worrying about what she'll eat often enough to be very well adjusted new parents.

In other news- the baby just PUT HERSELF TO SLEEP with a paci in her bouncy chair. Good-god, this is awesome. I'm not counting it as a real victory yet, but if its a tendency, then I'm all about supporting comfort objects that aren't me, a bottle or daddy. It makes the cuddles much more mutually beneficial if we aren't tied to the baby. That said, it was lovely (after I got her to sleep) cuddling in bed with her last night for a few hours. Whatever works!
that's great on the sleep moxie! i wish i had realised with my one that it was alright to leave her in the bouncy chair to sleep a bit - it worked wonders but i didn't really exploit it fully!
Christine Nectarine
in regards to recent sleep-related discussions, i heard a radio call in the other day on CBC where they were talking to the authors of this book. it was interesting to listen to, and i imagine could be helpful if you are the sleep deprived parent of anyone under 2! here's the link to the podcast --> scroll down to Wednesday, March 11: Kids and Sleep

now i'm curious to go read that article that moxie've peaked my curiosity!
Christine- that IS interesting, about how which "method" you choose may be more or less successful based on the timing in which it is tried. I think it has alot to do with the baby's temperment, too. Moxette was a DRAMATIC little one right from the beginning, so we needed her to know from a very early age that we expected her to calm herself a bit here and there. Even now, at 3 ( baby is 3!!), when she doesn't get ehr way, she disolves into her drama queen cry...and we just point to her room, and she more often than not (like 90% of the time), says "I'm going to cry BY MYSELF" followed by a slamming door. Yeah, what a great teen she'll be. smile.gif

It seems that the baby is more calm than her sister, but also more prone to startles- this has been our hurdle so far with sleeping flat in the crib. My parents have been able to get her to sleep in their pack and play, so I KNOW she can do it- we just have to find the right transfer and/or timing solution. I've seen her fall asleep tired, with her paci, on her own, so I'm leaning towards feed, burp, cuddle/rock for a bit till REALLY drowsy, then down you go with a paci and check on her for 10-20 min. She's not one to cry, but to just lay awake flailing arms and legs. We'll see in 5 min from now, if this seems to work.
hi everyone. hope you're getting some sleep mox!

just have to share, my baby's eating garlic mushrooms!! (just fingers of portobello mushroom i fried with some garlic, no salt or anything) it was so sweet seeing her sucking away on the mushroom. she also likes houmous, mango, beansprouts, spinach, pear, banana, apple, and the biggest hit of all - my homemade spinach and ricotta cannelloni...the only thing that has received a thumbs down so far is avocado! i'm having so much fun!!
Hi Ladies, Long time since I've been logged in, hope everyone is good.

So I have a weird question. Is it possible to not like a baby? I am struggling with feelings I have for a relative's daughter. She is one year old and I get no warm and fuzzies from her at all. I see her regularly and I end up with very mixed feelings about the whole situation. She's just not very nice. She's very smart but seems emotionally disconnected and I worry about my daughter who is just 5 months being around her....they spend 3 days a week together.

How do I deal with these feelings towards a child. I feel very guilty.
Christine Nectarine
Thatgirlkelly, I’ve definitely had those kind of feelings before. It’s strange when you don’t like a kid, because it can be hard to pinpoint just WHY…they are relatively innocent, but you just don’t get a good feeling about them. I presume from this post that you are otherwise a child-loving person?

If there are specific behaviours that upset or disturb you about this child, and having them around your daughter, I would be inclined to discuss them with the parents or caregiver (not sure what the arrangement for those 3 days a week is). If it’s just that she’s sort of a strange kid, I would try not to worry about it. I doubt with such a significant age gap it will have much affect on your little one. In this case you probably just have to behave as you would with any other person you don’t really like – just be polite, and don’t pay the kid much heed.
hey kelly, i'm not wild about my friend's kid - i feel guilty because i really don't want to cuddle him...i just think 'ugh'
can't really pinpoint why, he seems kind of grubby and whiny. not his fault i know. but i don't mind cuddling other babies i know, even when they are covered in food or crying. odd.

certainly i would not be cut out for a job in childcare...
Don't worry about your daughter- kid's as babies are much more individual than group oriented...even if it looks as if they were playing together, they're not,..they're playing near each other. I might be concerned if they were 2.5 and 3, but not this young. Plus, I think there are just some people (age not withstanding) that we each just don't brother, for instance, is not a huge fan of his niece (...his wife's niece once removed?), but i think she's a hoot of a baby.
I've been gone so long. I just wanted to say hello to everyone! Hope you lovelies are doing well.
help i have a vampire baby!

this is the THIRD time we've had thrush, and i strongly believe its attributed to the fact that he bites. right before he got the first tooth, we got the first case of thrush, so we saw the lactation consultant and pediatrician. he had been clamping down on my nipple with his gums. now he's got two teeth, so the biting hurts more, and today he even drew a little blood. i think its because of the biting, because i've washed everything in hot water and continue to sanitize daily. i replaced my pump tubing and ran the motor on high for a half hour to clear it, also.

i called the lactation consultant again yesterday- she wants me to try to get a strong oral dose of diflucan. emmet is on nystatin, and i'm using antifungal cream on my nipples after each feeding. i really don't want to stop nursing, but the biting really hurts. it happens infrequently, but does enough damage. i tell him "no" in a strong voice, put him in his crib and stop the feeding for about five minutes and leave the room. he cries til i come back. i am trying to let him know that when biting happens, the feeding is over.

did you ever have this problem, or do you have any suggestions?
pink martyr, it sounds like that is not fun. sad.gif I am not a mom so I can't offer you first-hand experience but I recently became a doula. Have you tried using nipple guards? Plastic probably isn't the best thing for thrush, but if it will keep you able to nurse it will be of benefit.

I found these websites, they look like they'd be worth a try:

Biting can be an indication of being really hungry, so stopping the nursing for five minutes might not be the best approach. Also, you don't want him to think you're "punishing" him if he might not know what he did "wrong". The second website reccomends pushing his tooth off your nipple when he bites, or yelping loud to startle him and let you know it hurt you. I hope this is somewhat helpful.
thanks so much for the links, particularly the one about natural remedies!
i have been trying to find a common link with the biting- is he hungry, overtired, etc, but haven't been able to find any common thread at all. i will continue to keep that in mind.
when i yelp or say ouch, do you know what he does? he LAUGHS. like, "omg mommy, you are so funny!" because of that, i've been really careful not to make any exclamations that might entertain him when he does bite. i don't want him to learn that biting = mommy entertainment = laughing baby.
yeah, if he thinks you are being funny and it's a game--not good. Maybe try screaming. If you can't seem to startle him then putting him down would be better. I wish you the best of luck and perseverance.
B mama
QUOTE(pinkmartyr @ Apr 18 2009, 09:29 PM) *
help i have a vampire baby!

this is the THIRD time we've had thrush, and i strongly believe its attributed to the fact that he bites. right before he got the first tooth, we got the first case of thrush, so we saw the lactation consultant and pediatrician. he had been clamping down on my nipple with his gums. now he's got two teeth, so the biting hurts more, and today he even drew a little blood. i think its because of the biting, because i've washed everything in hot water and continue to sanitize daily. i replaced my pump tubing and ran the motor on high for a half hour to clear it, also.

i called the lactation consultant again yesterday- she wants me to try to get a strong oral dose of diflucan. emmet is on nystatin, and i'm using antifungal cream on my nipples after each feeding. i really don't want to stop nursing, but the biting really hurts. it happens infrequently, but does enough damage. i tell him "no" in a strong voice, put him in his crib and stop the feeding for about five minutes and leave the room. he cries til i come back. i am trying to let him know that when biting happens, the feeding is over.

did you ever have this problem, or do you have any suggestions?

Hi Pinkmartyr

Sorry to hear that you are having problems! I'm a mom of 2 and nursed through a few difficulties as well. Thrush is awful and sometimes painful and biting is no picnic, either. Nystatin is often not effective. Depending on the baby's age, he might fair better with a diflucan treatment as well. Diflucan will most likely cure any internal infection. There are homeopathic remedies as well. Candex and acidolphilous can help and Gentian violet can help. Gentian Violet can only be used for a short amount of time, will stain everything purple and is only really helpful for external infections.

Biting is very common, especially with teething. You might want to try numbing his mouth by offering a frozen washcloth for him to chew on or cold teether before a feeding. If he does bite, you can also pull him into your chest , causing your breast to cover his nose and he will break the suction. Breaking the latch, telling my daughter a firm "NO Biting!" and placing her on the floor for a minute worked for us.

Hang in there and congratulations for nursing your baby!
Hello everyone. Hope you are all doing well.

Solid Foods....anyone notice a change in sleep patterns as a result of the introduction of solid food? Our little one has slept through the night almost since day one and now she's started waking more at night. I wonder if she allergies can manifest as sleep? Or maybe it's just because she's older and the synapses are firing more?

Pink, hope things are getting resolved with your little one....sounds painful!
Kelly- how old is she? Moxette had sleep regression (has sleep regression) anytime something major, new, exciting developmentally happens. Right now, its night potty training...her body is saying WAKE UP, but she's refusing to potty. Anyway, sitting, food, teething (is she teething?), crawling, walking, talking, etc. all caused sleep regression. Signs of food issues are upset tummy, diareah, rash, etc.

kb is damn near sleeping through the 12 weeks. seriously. I'm shocked and almost ready to giggle. i'm wondering when the shoe will drop. She's much more even tempered than her sister. I'm curious to see how that plays out amongst them. Moxette is thrilled that her sister laughs at her, and is now ready to help out more. Although, she has said "Mom, put that baby in her crib. She crys all the time" a couple of times.
Christine Nectarine
Moxiegirl – don’t wait for the shoe to drop. Just enjoy it if you can!

Thatgirlkelly – I can’t say I remember at this point if kiddo changed sleep habits when solid food was introduced. All I do remember was that sometimes her routine would just shift or change, and there was no apparent reason for it. For example, she was always a good sleeper, going through the night from the time she was a few months. Then, for some reason around 30 months she started waking once or twice nightly! I did not expect that. You adapt. Good luck though! is your baby showing other signs or symptoms that make you think it might be the food?

We’ve been having a lot of issues lately with kiddo’s toileting. She’s been potty trained since 2, but has had trouble pooping in the toilet since then. It’s like she tries to hold it, and then has little “accidents” in her pants. Often she won’t tell anybody, and then her bottom gets really sore. We seem to have tried everything (including doing nothing) to try to solve this problem.
For the past year there have been signs of improvement. It happens less frequently, and she’ll go weeks sometimes without accidents. What I’ve noticed is that if we are at home, she will usually go on the toilet. I think the weeks of “success” are largely related to periods of time that her body is on a cycle of going at times when she is usually at home, i.e. first thing in the morning, or around dinner time. Then, the cycle will shift for whatever reason, and she’ll have several days of accidents at daycare.
I think part of the problem is that when she needs to go, she needs to go NOW, and by the time she raises her hand, asks the teacher, and gets down the hall to the bathroom, it’s too late. Her old teacher was aware of this problem, and would watch out for signs that kiddo needed to go, and help her clean herself up if necessary. But that teacher is on maternity leave now, and we haven’t had such success with the other staff. I don’t think it is anything they are doing or not doing necessarily, but that kiddo is not as comfortable with them. For example, if the whole class has just had a bathroom break, and kiddo needs to go back, she will not want to ask permission, because she knows the teacher will say “we just went”. We’ve tried role playing with kiddo, where she practices saying things like “I need to go or I will have an accident” to let the teacher know it is important. But most of the time she is too embarrassed to do this.
Of course, this results in more messes, and sometimes she is sitting in it for hours before we get home. I’ve tried shifting focus now to making sure she changes clothes if she hasn’t made it to the toilet. And trying to empower her to speak up for herself, and not to feel embarrassed. I can’t take anymore of her crying in pain and cringing when I try to wipe her clean.
I have no clue what to do next. I did not think we would be still dealing with this when she was 5!
happy mother's day, everyone!

emmet has begun stealing crackers from my hand and taking bites. he also just started waving bye-bye today!
*cautiously steps into the circle of Hip Mamas*

Hey...I don't have any kids and won't be...but I have a cousin who just like six weeks ago had a VERY premature little boy baby. He's doing well, though. (three months preemie, for anybody interested...)

Anyway, they are going to have a baby shower for her. I found a couple really cute baby shirts (obviously it'll take some time before he grows into them), but, here's my main question....

I want to give her a gag gift....a bunch of earplugs and a bottle of asprin. Is that in poor taste?

I'd follow up the gift with the "real" gift, (cute shirts and maybe one of those baby slings) of course!

Or are there other, better suggestions for a gift?
QUOTE(treehugger @ Jun 16 2009, 03:45 PM) *
*cautiously steps into the circle of Hip Mamas*

Hey...I don't have any kids and won't be...but I have a cousin who just like six weeks ago had a VERY premature little boy baby. He's doing well, though. (three months preemie, for anybody interested...)

Anyway, they are going to have a baby shower for her. I found a couple really cute baby shirts (obviously it'll take some time before he grows into them), but, here's my main question....

I want to give her a gag gift....a bunch of earplugs and a bottle of asprin. Is that in poor taste?

I'd follow up the gift with the "real" gift, (cute shirts and maybe one of those baby slings) of course!

Or are there other, better suggestions for a gift?

This is just my opinion smile.gif my little guy was only one month premature, but it had been a rough pregnancy, so to have him alive at all was a blessing. I personally might have been hurt by a gag gift when the outcome was so unclear, but if you know her sense of humor and this fits then that would be very different. smile.gif I will say preemie clothes and socks will be very appreciated! They are hard to find, and for the wee ones they take awhile to grow into. Also the sling is a great idea! I liked my Baby Bjorn but I know many mothers who prefer the Maya Wrap and others. I'm sure your cousin will appreciate your thoughtfulness whatever you choose to give. smile.gif
Well..I decided to play it safe. I'll TAKE the gag gift, but I'll watch her closely and see if she seems to have a sense of humor about the whole thing before I bring it out. And, went shopping today. Got her a Moby wrap, the lady at the store said it's nice for preemies. And some TINY clothes. smile.gif I couldn't find socks though. sad.gif
QUOTE(treehugger @ Jun 17 2009, 03:04 PM) *
Well..I decided to play it safe. I'll TAKE the gag gift, but I'll watch her closely and see if she seems to have a sense of humor about the whole thing before I bring it out. And, went shopping today. Got her a Moby wrap, the lady at the store said it's nice for preemies. And some TINY clothes. smile.gif I couldn't find socks though. sad.gif

Preemie socks are nearly impossible to find - I'm not sure I ever did! Your friend will see all of the love and care you put into your gift and even the humorous one and feel very lucky to have a cousin like you! *hug* Have a wonderful time!
Christine Nectarine
QUOTE(treehugger @ Jun 17 2009, 06:04 PM) *
And some TINY clothes. smile.gif I couldn't find socks though. sad.gif

baby socks never stay on their feet anyway! you're better off finding someone who can knit booties!
My kid turns 4 in less than a month. 4! 4! How did this happen? Where is my little tiny baby? Now there's just this adorable kid who runs around playing with trains and spelling stuff. He's in a size 11 shoe, for chrissakes!
i know what you mean! i can't believe i'm beginning to ponder a one-year birthday party in just three months! its going to be an owl party, with owl cupcakes!
Owls are cute. That'll be a great party. We're going to have everyone over and put up a slip n' slide, kiddie pool, and sprinkler. There will be hot dogs, PBR, chips and homemade cupcakes with homemade icing. If I have time I'll make from-scratch buttermints. I don't skimp on sweets.
Oooh! Bustygirl: would you be willing to share your recipe for the buttermints?
Absolutely! It's not a very well measured one, though.

powdered sugar
butter, melted to liquid
pure peppermint oil

Basically you pour the butter into the sugar and knead it little by little until it reaches the consistency of dry play-doh. You want it to be pliable and fully mixed. Make sure you leave enough powdered sugar on the side for when you add the peppermint oil. Add droplets of peppermint oil until the mixture is minty enough for your tastes. If this dampens the mixture too much, add a little more powdered sugar. (It's an inexact science)

The candy mixture is ready to prep when it's mostly dry to the touch but not crumbly. You want to be able to roll it into snakes or press it into candy molds without falling apart. If you're rolling, make snakes that are 3/4" inches apart and cut into 1/2" sections. Put these sections on a foiled cookie sheet and put into freezer. Chill for a few hours. Serve cool. If candy is out in the heat for too long it will melt, but trust me, it won't be out ANYWHERE for too long. These things are delicious.

If you're using molds, pour a little granulated or coloured sugar into a dish and dip 1" balls into it before pressing them into molds. Put molds into freezer and chill for a few hours. The candies should pop out easily after chilled, but since I've never done it this way I can't vouch for it from experience.

I made these for my wedding, and they were GONE before the first course. People were even going around asking people who don't eat sweets for theirs. I thought a few were going to come to blows. They're that good.
my step kids are coming this weekend. this will be the second time we've met... the first was when they came over christmas for a week. they are 12 (girl) and 5 (boy).

i am thrilled that my boyfriend is going to be able to spend time with all his children, and more than happy to have them here at the house, cook for them, wash their clothes, etc.

the thing that i'm anxious about is this- isaac will be working the entire time they are here. he gets two days off a week- he's taking wednesday off, and then friday. on friday he'll be driving them back to their mom. that means there are 5 days where they'll be home with emmet and i, and their dad will be working til at least 4.

last time i provided an activity basket for them, and decorated cookies with them one day. they were also thrilled to watch the disney channel, because their mom doesn't have cable. the 12 year old and i both like crafts, so we also did a sewing project together. meanwhile, the 5 year old is bouncing off the walls with energy.

they're not coming here to see me- their coming for their dad- however, most of their time will be spent with me. how can i keep them engaged, meet emmet's needs, and keep the house clean?

we just got a new house, and i'm worried because last time, they were really messy. there was trash all over the floor and i found bowls of cookies and stuff under the coffee table. they brought their blankets from home, which smelled like cat pee, and they only showered once. their mom is a terrible housekeeper from what i understand, and i like to keep my house clean and smelling like oranges and spices. their dad and i have talked about rules, such as how often they should bathe and what the rules are for putting dishes in the sink, etc. i've asked him to say to their mom that they don't need to bring blankets because we have plenty for them here.

how do i keep them entertained? how do i tolerate their different upbringing when it comes to clean vs dirty and be respectful to their mother? they are really sweet kids, but i have tons of anxiety. does anyone have advice?
Pink, crafting with the daughter sounds like a great idea. It is probably difficult to balance the needs of two kids of such different ages though.

I think that you may have to resign yourself to the fact they probably will make a mess, even if you set out ground rules. Kids are kids, and they take a while to learn new habits. It is fair to ask them to clean up after themselves (the older girl more than the boy) but you should expect that if they don't have to be tidy at their mom's place, they won't be used to making the effort. The more they come to visit, the more the idea that you and your mister do things differently will sink in. Unless they are filthy, how often they bathe is a more personal matter (especially for the 12 year old) and should be approached carefully.

Basically, bring it all back to the house, and simply reinforce that you guys do things differently. My 2 cents....
thanks sybarite, for your two cents!

the kids were consistent about following rules for the first few days. the rules were, go to bed by 11, put your stuff away before going to bed, put your dishes in the sink. currently, they are only following the dishes in the sink rule. their dad is the one that stays up with them- they've been going to bed at 11 or 12. i think its because they want more time with their dad, which is fine, its his call. last night, though, i feel like the whole gang is pushing it- i wish their dad would kind of make sure they put their stuff away. like i think he's just hanging and enjoying time with them, forgetting that their is a nine month old baby who can't wait to put the pennies, matchbox cars, and dorito crumbs they leave strewn about in his pudgy little mouth. oh well. its only for a week. i can clean up dorito crumbs for a week.

my saving grace is the basket... i put a clothes basket in the living room beside emmet's toy box. when i wake up in the morning, i put all the toys they've left out in their basket. that way, they know where their stuff has been placed, and the house isn't so messy. they're sleeping in the guest room, i've totally let that slide. its a mess, but i'm not saying anything because its their space while theyre here, whereas the living room is communal space. as for baths, they got here on friday and have had one bath apiece. i'm letting their dad handle it.

basically, i see my role as babysitter. its not fair for me to try to parent them. that's their dad and mom's job. if its ok by their dad and mom that they don't take a bath and haven't brushed their teeth, i can't expect them to do those things at my house. what i wrestle with is the difference between respecting their habits and keeping them healthy. for example, i think that after they've had dinner at night, and then some ice cream, they dont need to eat a bagel, chips, and raisins and then stay up til midnight. the really interesting part will be when emmet is older, and is following his own status quo of bathing daily, brushing 2x a day, picking up his toys, being limited on soda and tv time.... he's gonna wonder why big brother and big sister don't have to do any of it.

and its just a really lonely week for me. as soon as their dad leaves, they get all depressed and won't do anything but play xbox and watch tv. my mom took pictures of all of us at a restaurant, and the kids look freaking miserable in all the pictures i'm in. i mean, its clear that they don't want me around. and i try... i make three healthy meals for them a day, wash their clothes, do activities and puzzles with them, talk to them... i took the 12 year old girl for a nice haircut at a fancy salon (her mom only takes her to great clips so she really enjoyed it, told her i'd take her back when she visited again if she wanted). their mom didn't send any toys for them, so my parents took them shopping at wal-mart. at night after i've cleaned up and baby is in bed i pretty much hang back and let them have time with their dad. today they've gone to the beach, art museum, and movies with their dad so emmet and i are on our own. i felt bad for him because it kinda seemed like he wanted to go with daddy when they left. isaac hasn't really played with emmet all week, and that is something that is going to be interesting when emmet is old enough to realize.

anyway, thanks for not minding my venting... i feel like my boyfriend has left the state, and like i am a nanny to children who dislike me.

Pink, it sounds like you're doing a great job balancing your expectations of the kids, choosing what to let slide and what to pull them up on. As for the rest, I would suggest allowing experience and time to shape how you all get along. My mister's kid has been living with us effectively full-time for the last 2 years after previously living with her mother her whole life thus far, and the one thing I've learned is to balance set boundaries against letting things evolve organically. I'm hugely territorial about my/our space/s, so I had a lot of adjusting to do and to be fair, some resentment of my own to deal with.

For now, your mister is probably so happy to be spending time with them that he is letting things slide. As this is only the second time they've stayed with you two as a couple/new family it makes sense that they will need some time to get used to you and baby emmet as permanent in their dad's life. It does seem a little unfair IMO that you are covering the majority of childcare duty this week, but again how time is spent with the kids in the future is something you and your mister can organise over time.

For now, try and be consistent with them; it already sounds like you engage well with them. They will pick up on this and should come around to accepting you more fully. Any resentment you may be feeling is normal too; try to identify what in particular is bothering you (such as some of the points you list below) and bring that to a conversation with your guy once the kids have left.

Finally, I know you have a new baby so are used to posting here, but it might be an idea to relocate conversations about the older kids to the 'Busty moms of not so wee ones' thread in Family and Friends, where there are lots of mamas of older kids who have good experiences to share. I don't mind either way, just concerned about derailing discussion around babies in this thread. I have had issues come up for me as a result of being a 'sort-of stepmum' and the busties in the other thread have been very helpful. Good luck for the rest of the week!
sybarite, thanks so much for being so helpful. your most recent post arrived mid-week, and the companionship really helped to lift my spirits. i posted in the other thread as you suggested.

overall, the visit was a positive one, and an improvement over the last visit. there are some issues for my boyfriend and i to work out, but i'm not going to try to discuss anything til next week. he just drove them home today.

in other news, unrelated...

we went to this consignment sale today called "posh baby" and bought some very reasonably priced toys and clothes. its a local group. i was looking for a diaper bag... the one i have sucks. its heavy and bulky. i have to wrestle just to get it in that little basket under the stroller. i am looking for a messenger-style diaper bag. my friend laura has a nice one from dadgear... are their any other recommendations?
Greetings--I'm coming over here from the pregnancy thread. Now that my babe is 12 weeks old, my posts there are a little too far off topic. It looks like this thread doesn't see much action, but these things always go in cycles. If anyone out there is still looking to chat about babies, I'm here.

My story is I am unmarried, though happily coupled with my baby's father who still has his own place (though he's here most nights). I'm turning 43 this month and this is my first child. It was a mercifully easy conception considering our advanced ages. I had a healthy pregnancy except for severe edema (with no high blood pressure), and then an emergency c-section after attempting to home birth and being in hard labor for 20 hours.

Due probably to a breast reduction 10 years ago, I could only nurse partially, but I'm stubbornly persisting and some days are better than others. Would love to hear about others experiences with low breastmilk.

We're going to England in October to see my partner's parents in Cornwall so I'm interested in hearing tips about international travel with infants (especially when you have to carry formula and such).

Also keen to hear about products you can't live with out or general advice for this first year.

She's getting immunizations next week (later than she should be due to having to change pediatricians midstream). Any tips on that?

Thanks in advance!

Eyelet, we have some things in common! The mister and I aren't married, and I also had an emergency c-section after a long labor. I'm breastfeeding, but am starting to see my breastmilk supply drop some... I just rented a medical grade pump and am taking motherlove More Milk herbal supplements. My son is 10 months old. Even though your nursing is limited, you are to be commended for keeping it up! Breastfeeding can be pretty miserable on the days where the milk doesn't come easy.

When Emmet gets immunizations, we give him pain medicine about an hour beforehand. Since your baby is only 12 weeks, you can do baby tylenol. Then, about four hours later (which is what the bottle says) we automatically give him a second dose. The rest of it we kind of play by ear. But for us, I definitely feel that the medicine makes a difference. I also nurse him for a few minutes after the shot. Usually he falls asleep shortly after the doctor's appointment.

Glad to see you here! I was hoping this thread would get more action soon.
Hi Pink. Breastfeeding is such a mixed bag. When we're having a good day with it, it feels great and I always think this is how it will be from here on out (just like when she has a good night of sleep--I'm an eternal optimist). But when it's bad and she wriggles away from my breast with no interest at all, it bums me out. The only time I'm sure to be able to breastfeed her is at bed time, which has been established for her as a habit and she wants the comfort more than the ease of a bottle.

I'm taking a More Milk tincture as well as Domperidone to stimulate production. I notice a difference with both when I forget to take one or the other. I'll probably continue to do this at least until 6 months unless she suddenly rejects it altogether.

I'll try that with the Tylenol. I have an herbal medicine called Colic Calm that has chamomile in it. I use it when she is fussy for no clear reason and it usually makes her drift off to sleep. I'll keep that handy as well.

I'm curious about when different babies finally slept through the night consistently. Right now Elowen (my babe) is having some nights with up to 6 hours straight, and other nights I'm still up every 3 or 4. I can't figure out what the variable is other than just maybe growth spurts and more appetite.

I read that babies her age are still supposed to sleep around 14 hours a day, but she's not getting nearly that much. Of course she is a large baby, more like the size of a 4-5 month old. Maybe she doesn't need as much sleep because of that.

Glad to have a response and hoping there will be a few more lurking that want to join in!

~~ fly by~~

little man seemingly never slept at all unless i was sitting up holding/nursing him. it sucked, i aged 10 years in about 2.
little girl slept through the night from day one partially waking to nurse a couple of times. she's a Great sleeper! but she mostly gave up afternoon naps before she even turned 2 and little man help onto those until 3 at least, some days when he was 4 and 5 even. i'd find him passed out on the couch after being particularly grouchy faced.
he pooped in his pants until 3.5 while she is nearly finished with that at 26 months too. vive la difference!

they are all totally unique. if babe is growing and functioning at a good steady rate he or she is sleeping/eating/etc enough from their needs IMHO, never mind the norm.
Heya all! I'm over from the pregnancy thread too - eyelet and I had our babies a few hours apart. I was induced early for hypertension and ended up with a really REALLY short labour. Fallon had jaundice and ended up back in the hospital at 2 weeks - she had very low blood sugar at birth as well so she got he first few feeds from Mr A (a less-than-stellar midwife gave me 2 sleeping pills three or four hours before I gave birth so I was totally wasted and unable to do anything but fall asleep sitting in amniotic fluid). Breastfeeding has been hard (tiny flat nipples, big boobs, slightly prem baby, not being able to feed immediately thanks to another fool who didn't know how to put the heating on in the labour room so Fallon's temperature wasn't stabilising even with skin-to-skin contact because I'd started getting too cold as well) but we're doing pretty well. My milk has taken FOREVER to normalise - I only started leaking/having let down the past 2 weeks. When I was having supply issues at the start I pumped a fair bit after feeds (to fully empty my boobs) and ate a shit ton of porridge since oats apparently help with production.

As far as sleeping goes, she's been pretty consistenly sleeping through (5 hours +) since 1 month BUT we cosleep. So i rarely ever actually know what time it is when she feeds and quite often we're both still mostly asleep. We started cosleeping because I found getting her out of her bassinette way too hard with my stitches. From what I've read cosleeping means sleeping through the night earlier (but it's apparently a less deep sleep). We're trialling the bassinette next week. She rarely has a consistent pattern during the day though - today she's had two small (less than an hour) naps so far (5pm) whereas some days she has slept close to four or five at this point. She's stopped sleeping in the bassinette during the day though *sigh* and since she HATES the sling with me I end up doing very little during those days.

I had my first ever fight with Mr A about housework last night. He actually said 'so I'm supposed to work all day then look after Fallon by myself all night'. He realised very quickly how damn stupid that was (who feeds/changes her at night anyway?) but it really pissed me off - I'm tired, my nipples hurt, I just made dinner so turn the damn game off and play with the baby while I do something I need both hands for. It's unfair because he's usually great but the idea I have to ASK for him to take over so I can fill out forms for the operation I'm having in 2 weeks/put on a load of nappies/make dinner pisses me off like crazy.


Anyway, a question for the more established mothers out there - have you noticed any food sensitivities coming through breastmilk? How did you twig? I'm reading up and it really seems like Fallon has a sensitivity to something (I'm thinking dairy) but I was wondering if anyone here has any experience with that?
i'm so glad that this thread is seeing more action!

ananke, my son doesn't seem to have any sensitivities regarding what i eat, but i do know that dairy is a huge factor for some babies. if that's what you think is causing a reaction, you are probably right. i know that some sensitivities can cause eczema and digestive problems. i also try and eat a lot of oatmeal to boost my supply. it is the same thing here with my boyfriend sometimes- i'll have to say, please stop playing xbox and give the baby a bath. meanwhile, i'm trying to cook, make bottles for the next day, and keep an eye on the baby, who is trying to climb into the refrigerator. he is a good dad and helps immediately, but it just gets under my skin that sometimes he still has to be told.

eyelet, i really second pepper. don't worry about what the books and experts say. if the baby is happy and well adjusted, keep doing what you are doing! be ready to make changes when the baby is ready. emmet started sleeping through the night consistently around 4 months, but when he started getting his first tooth around 5 months, it shook things up and we kind of had to "reteach" bedtime. he's got 7 teeth already! once in a while he gets up at night, this mostly occurs when he is cutting teeth. last week three appeared!
Hey Ananke-isn't it weird that breast feeding is just now at 3 months finally hitting its stride? People understate how hard it can be. And unlike you, my breasts will simply not put out for a pump. I have better luck hand expressing. But even that took me a long time to figure out. I am gradually making more and more each week, so still very committed to it (if I weren't seeing progress, I'm sure I would have given up by now).

We start the night with the baby in the "co-sleeper," which is a bassinet with a dropped side that goes right next to the bed. That way I get some solid sleep. After the first feeding she comes into bed with me for the rest of the night. The nights she's happy with just the breast, I barely wake up, but waking up to get the bottle is a real drag.

The babe had her shots and fortunately had no apparent reaction to them. She was a little warm that night, but no problems since.

My frustration right now is that I've been walking 3 miles per day for 2 weeks, and my weight has stayed exactly the same. I'm 20 lbs. over pre-pregnancy weight, which itself was a 15-20 over what I should be. I haven't been dieting, but certainly haven't eaten any more than usual, so walking that much should have shown me some results. I'm hoping my body is just holding out and will eventually give way to some changes.

Going to a girlfriend's house out in the country for a sleep-over tonight. She has a young daughter too and her husband is out of town. Really looking forward to the girl time, the change of scenery, and to show off my sweet baby!
i do weight watchers for nursing moms. on that program, you get extra points (meaning extra calories allotted) for nursing, simply because making milk burns calories. if you're not losing, one thing to think about may be- are you eating enough? Not getting the extra calories (or water) you need may be reason enough for your body to stay stagnant and not lose.
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